Loud and inconsiderate

I just started working in a very busy school among many Taiwanese women. We all share the same prep space and to say it’s crowded would be an understatement.

I have been in these situations before, back home not here, and I always though it was basic human nature to be relatively considerate when working in a confined space.

:noway:

That’s just not the way the Chinese operate, so I would like some feedback here regarding their behaviour: eg; they are LOUD!!!

Sure, I’ve been here in Taiwan, and Asia for that matter, for 4 years and have come to expect loud talkers and behavior we westerners view as rude. But why is it that, even if two Taiwanese are within inches of each other, they have raise their voices so they can be heard 30 meters away? And there’s no consideration for anybody who happens to be near them, busily trying to prepare a lesson plan(s). To me it just doesn’t make sense.

:loco:

For example, if I was to engage another western person in my office, and proceeded to speak to him in the same way Taiwanese speak to each other, I’m sure they would all look at us as if we were insane. But yet, they do it as a rule and not an exception. Then I am viewed as a prick if I ask them to lower their voices so I can concentrate (even though I would never do that).

Also, they let the kids into the teacher prep area which I view as a BIG no-no. Kids have no social awareness whatsoever. There’s this one fat kid whose the son of another teacher and he walks in all the time, talking to his mother at the top of his lungs for at least 10 minutes before he goes away. She, in turn, also talks back to him at 140 db. And no one says a thing about it.

I would like to understand their cultural interplay much more so I could at least have some undserstanding as to why they lack basic professional courtesy in a busy office. :wink:

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Keep ear plugs on you at all time. Buy an MP3 player. It was a blessing when I finally figured out how to use an MP3 player. It really is wonderful!

Make sure it’s REALLY obvious when you put the earplugs in :smiling_imp:

Volume control unit v1.0 as installed on all versions of the Taiwanese Mouth between about 1894 and the present date does not function as intended. Various patches have been attempted, such as ‘slap in the face’, ‘air horn’ and ‘time out whistle’. None of them are effective for more than a few audio cycles and on some Mouths they seem to make the problem worse. While waiting for the updated drivers (R&D has no release date set) please employ your own countermeasures like ‘earplug’ or leaving the immediate vicinty of the malfunctioning Mouth, or terminate all processes which use the Mouth (hard reboot).

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I though maybe I’d sleep written the original post, except for the fact that I work in an office.

Wow, totally familiar!

I’ve become the resident curmudgeon noise hater. It’s not the greatest rep, but it has become alot quieter around here since I made it known that I can’t effectively surf Forumosa - and get my work done - while everyone shouts out their every thought.

Most people have seen the light and put their cell phones on “meeting” setting in the office, and keep their voices down while I’m around.

However, the cute factor wins out whenever someone turns up with a child, or whenever someone loses or gains a few pounds. Each situation requires that everyone drop what they are doing, mill about and shout “How cuuuuute-ooooh” or “You’ve become fat/thin” for 10 minutes.

It’s a trade off.

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I work in the world’s noisiest office. But hey, they bring toddlers into libraries and book shops. Personally I reckon they’re all born slightly deaf.

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[quote=“wonder”]I always though it was basic human nature to be relatively considerate when working in a confined space.

:noway:

[/quote]

And then you came to Taiwan…

My guess is it’s the overal noise level that they are used to.

I hate the noise of the garbage truck (as it passes here three times a day) but they used to sit around the corner at 7:30 every morning while taking a break. But they never turned the tune off for the whole twenty minutes (they do now fortunately)

Yes, you would lose that naturalness that they have about 140db conversations.

[quote]
Also, they let the kids into the teacher prep area which I view as a BIG no-no. Kids have no social awareness whatsoever. There’s this one fat kid whose the son of another teacher and he walks in all the time, talking to his mother at the top of his lungs for at least 10 minutes before he goes away. She, in turn, also talks back to him at 140 db. And no one says a thing about it. [/quote]

Most of the adults lack social awareness, why would we expect more from their kids.

I took a friend to the hospital to get his medical check. A lady walked up to the counter and we moved aside a little as we were deciphering the form. She actually lent her elbow on the form we were filling out. When we looked at her with our best concealed looks of disbelief and disgust she did the old token move away. You know, the move juuussstttt enough that you can do what ever mundane thing you wanted to do (like get passed, or in our case fill out a form), whether it be a slight shift of the shoulder or a shuffle a foot (sometimes even both) but all without making eye contact with you!

[quote]
I would like to understand their cultural interplay much more so I could at least have some undserstanding as to why they lack basic professional courtesy in a busy office. :wink:[/quote]

Try this:

Imagine you are back in your home country and you saw parents just not disciplining their children, but you were the only one offended by the child’s behaviour.

Then you noticed that wherever you turned none of the parents were disciplining their children, and you were the only one who either seemed to notice or care.

Now propel yourself 30 years into the future in the same city and all those grown up kids are now undisciplined adults, with their own undisciplined kids.

OOPS! you’re in Taiwan/China

Of course discipline is a little objective. Of course the Cinese discipline their kids. They jsut seem to care about different things.

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Everyone was totally shocked when I told my nephew not to shout loudly to me and my wife when we talked. Here, the whole family has a cross-conversation, everybody shouts, no matter where the other person is standing or if the is already talking to someone else.

And as Chinese is a mono-syllabic language, all words sound almost the same and they have to shout to make the pronounciation clear. As if English has 100 words all sounding like “fart” and sometimes it means fart, but fa1rt means nuclear-physics and fa3rt means toothbrush …

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Guys, I know you’re just chatting online, but some of us are trying to work.

Can you keep it down, please?

Thank you.

:unamused:

It is louder and dumber sounding in Taiwanese as well owing to the fact that Taiwanese is not so much a language as a series of grunts. Huh! Eh! Ah! seem to be the most common “words.”

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And about half of the words in any casual Taiwanese conversation seem to belong to about ten different phrases, repeated ad nauseam.

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I work at the Sinology Research Center in the National Central Library, and it is probably the quietest office I’ve ever worked in, be it in the States or over here. At the other end of the spectrum, however, I think I live in the noisiest neighborhood on earth … the garbage truck must come through here about five times a day … before you hear the garbage truck song, however, the “li zhang” (head honcho of the neighborhood) puts an even worse song on the loudspeakers to let everyone know in advance that the garbage truck is coming (like you can’t hear it from a mile away to begin with). Then, the “li zhang” makes not one, but two and sometimes even three “announcements” every evening (occasionally early on Saturday mornings too) that drone on for ages and ages and ages … and my neighbor likes to sing karaoke into the wee hours of the morning … once he’s finally drunk enough to pass out, the firecrackers start going off outside for no reason I can seem to understand … sigh

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Once or twice I have made it REALLY obvious simply by plugging my ears with whatever is available…toilet paper, books, my fingers (funny how toilet paper seems to be in the office but NEVER in the washroom)…and nobody’s seemed to notice. They are completely absorbed by the loudness they are perpetuating.

They did, however, move me to a less conspicuous area of the office because I did complain to my boss it was too noisy by the door. :unamused:

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And about half of the words in any casual Taiwanese conversation seem to belong to about ten different phrases, repeated ad nauseam.[/quote]

You two sound like such a fricken assholes. How can you say that about someone’s language and culture in a forum where some of the people here are English speaking Taiwanese.

You live here for gods sake and if you hate it so much and look down upon the language so much, get the hell out of here you loser because if you stay and complain so much it kind of looks like you can’t go anywhere else. My wife is Taiwanese and my son is learning Taiwanese. To many people around the world English sounds like grunting and just a bunch of the same whining and complaining tones. Get a clue and try to be more culturally aware or go back to the small hicksville you came from.

I am very happy for the students to come into the office, what better way of seeing that the kids like your teaching, but I totally agree that some students are just too loud, and need controlling/ talking to. Wednesday two kids were having a broom fight at the tops of their voices. The kids seemed totally shocked when I gave them a good tongue lashing. I think the teachers need to keep reminding the students that a little respect and thought would go a long way when they are in the office. Ruth and Cathy - this one’s for you! (Great students, but NOISY!)

I agree with Hobart in part too, some of the posts here have sounded a little ignorant, even if they were meant in jest. Taiwanese is a great language and I wish I knew more than the customaries i.e. Im going out (Deng i a), Im back (chook i a), how are you (ja ba bwei) and Grandma its time to eat (A ma, ja bung) and the ever useful Eat Shit! (jia sai)

Brought to you by the executive UN!

Emm… yeah. I have to agree with Hobart here.

Complaining about people being inconsiderate is one thing.

Slagging their language is another thing.

I have lived here several years and generally love it in Taiwan. Gave up trying to learn Chinese as I don

And about half of the words in any casual Taiwanese conversation seem to belong to about ten different phrases, repeated ad nauseam.[/quote]

You two sound like such a fricken assholes. How can you say that about someone’s language and culture in a forum where some of the people here are English speaking Taiwanese. [/quote]

I agree with Hobart. Let’s not bash the Taiwanese language. I sure wish I knew more so I could figure out what they’re saying about the new teacher! :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, my original post requested an understanding of WHY they must talk so loud to each other…nothing about the language itself, although I have heard Taiwanese is spoken in much louder tones than Mandarin.

No, It was a sincere question because of my current situation and I know that sometimes when you understand a society’s cultural tendencies, you also gain some respect. Although I do like the idea of earplugs. :wink:

I’m a little surprised the way this thread has turned out. Seems there were a few of us who just had to vent. :notworthy:

[quote=“wonder”]Let’s not bash the Taiwanese language.[/quote]Yes, please. Taiwanese does sound loud and low class, when spoken by loud low class people, as does any other language. Let’s focus on the volume control (lack of) part of the problem?

When my wife and her friends speak Taiwanese it sounds beautiful (except for rice_t, who just sounds funny). When my mother in law and her friends speak it, it sounds like a series of ear-splitting grunts and cackles.

Only joking rice_t. :wink: